Saturday, 18 June 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 300m Twmpau

New Piece (SJ 297 141)

This is the first post under the heading of Significant Name Changes, and the following details are in respect of a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 17th December 2013.

The summit area of New Piece in the foreground with the distinctive profile of Rodney's Pillar atop the Breiddin in the background

The hill is situated in the Breiddin, which is a compact group of hills positioned close to, and in part, on the border between Wales and England.  The hill is positioned to the north-east of Y Trallwng (Welshpool) and between the small communities of Criggion to its north-west and Middletown to its south south-east.

The hill appeared in the Sub List that accompanied the 300m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s website and its status as a Sub-Twmpau was confirmed by the survey with the Trimble.

Breidden Hills
   Breidden Forest Top
     Name from forest at summit

The hill appeared in this Sub List under an invented name; Breidden Forest Top, with an accompanying note stating; Name from forest at summit.  This invented name was based on the name of the conifer plantation that takes in much of the northern and western section of these hills, and was used as its name appeared centred over this hill’s summit on the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 map.

To the south-west of this Sub hill is a qualifying P30 hill surveyed as being 321.6m high and with 41.3m of drop.  The P30 hill is listed under the name of New Pieces which is the name that appears adjacent to this hill’s summit on Ordnance Survey maps and whose name was confirmed locally.  Whilst making local enquiries I was told that there used to be a house in the area where the forest is now, that was named Piece House and that there is a pool in the forest known as Piece Pool.  The pool is unnamed on current Ordnance Survey maps and is positioned at SJ 296 139.  However, my local enquiries concentrated on the P30 hill and not the Sub hill.

The name of the Sub hill is New Piece and this was derived from the Tithe map.  The term Tithe map is generally given to a map of a Welsh or English parish or township and which was prepared after the 1836 Tithe Commutation Act.  This act allowed tithes to be paid in cash rather than goods.  The Tithe maps gave names of owners and occupiers of land in each parish and importantly for place-name research they also included the name of enclosed land.  This enclosed land is usually based on a field system, however not every field is given a name, but many are and especially so in Wales.

The enclosed land is given the number 164 on the Tithe map

When cross referenced in the apportionments the enclosed land is named as New Piece

The enclosed land where the summit of New Piece is situated is given the number of 164 on the Tithe map, this can be cross referenced against the apportionments; it is these apportionments that give the name of the owner or occupier of the land as well as the name of the land.  The land where the summit of this hill is situated is named as New Piece and is described as Pasture; it appears in the county named as Montgomery and in the parish of Alberbury.

The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Breiddin

Name:  New Piece

Previously Listed Name:  Breidden Forest Top 

Summit Height:  320.2m (converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  126

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 29767 14148 
Drop:  25.2m

Myrddyn Phillips (June 2016)

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